Gatsby great, this time around

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I did something Friday I don’t do very often anymore … I finished a book.

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I had read it before. High school. Tenth grade, maybe. I wasn’t impressed then. I simply couldn’t relate to the early 20s lifestyle with the parties and drinking and the implied sexuality.

This time, however, I was hooked. I couldn’t put it down. In a grand total, over parts of three days, it may have taken me five hours to read. That’s a high estimate, I think.

I don’t know why I chose to pick up this particular book. I do a lot of reading at work. So much so, that sometimes it’s difficult for me to enjoy reading outside of work.

In recent memory, books of fiction I have read over the past 10 years: All seven Harry Potter books. And maybe 10-12 Perry Mason mysteries by Erle Stanley Gardner … they’re short, quick and interesting. And a book called “Name the Baby.” (It’s not a parenting book.)

But that’s it. Lots of magazine articles and newspaper stories and tons more online, but not many books.

But as for this book, it makes me think, how many books do we push as “classics” in high school lit classes that simply go misunderstood by kids? I think maybe I just didn’t have the life experience at 15 or whatever to fully grasp this story.

Though, I say that knowing I was reading William Faulkner and John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway at the same time and enjoying them. And those three, particularly Faulkner, are no walk in the park and certainly not always easy to understand.

But it makes me wonder what else I should try and read again, knowing I may find myself reading a totally different book than I first encountered in my high school literature class.

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